Give Merit, Inc. has been granted $50,000 by the Detroit Lions through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program to install bleachers and lights at Merit Park.
"We are so honored and excited to be a part of the NFL/LISC Grassroots Program working with the Detroit Lions," said Give Merit Board Chair David Merritt. "We're even more excited about what this means for the youth we serve. The impact of this grant will be felt for generations to come with the development of Merit Park."
The grant from the Lions, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of $6 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation's leading community development support organization – has supported the construction or renovation of 416 football fields nationwide since 1998. During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $58 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
"We are excited to help Give Merit, Inc. continue their vital work in the community, specifically in the creation of safe spaces for youth to play at Merit Park with this NFL Foundation Grassroots Program grant," said Detroit Lions Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brian Facchini. "This development directly aligns with the mission of the Detroit Lions Foundation and we are proud to expand our relationship and shared impact even further."
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
"We are excited that Give Merit, Inc. was selected for the NFL grant", said Camille Walker Banks, Executive Director of LISC Detroit, "Creating safe spaces for children to grow, play and engage in healthy afterschool activities is essential to the revitalization of the community and the wellbeing of future generations. We are looking forward to the impact of this investment on the youth and families of this neighborhood."